Larry Hogan launches Republican Senate bid after saying he lacks ‘burning desire to be a senator’ | Marylandthedigitalchaps


Larry Hogan, the former Republican governor of Maryland who on Friday announced a surprise US Senate run, told an interviewer last year he did not “have a burning desire to be a senator”, would find sitting in the Senate “really frustrating”, thought being a senator was “not where my skill set lies”, and said that though he could win a seat, “the problem was I would win and I would have to go be a senator”.

Hogan made the stark remarks, which may now come to haunt him, in an interview last May with Johanna Maska, host of the Press Advance podcast and a former White House aide to Barack Obama.

Hogan left office in Maryland in January 2023 after two terms as governor. A popular moderate Republican in a deeply Democratic state, he was long linked to a presidential bid with No Labels, a centrist group considering a challenge to Joe Biden and Donald Trump, the likely GOP nominee.

On Friday, however, Politico first reported that Hogan was jumping into the race to succeed Ben Cardin, a long-serving, retiring Democrat, in the US Senate.

Releasing a video announcement, Hogan said: “I am running for the United States senate – not to serve one party – but to stand up to both parties, fight for Maryland, and fix our nation’s broken politics. It’s what I did as Maryland’s governor, and it’s exactly how I’ll serve Maryland in the Senate. Let’s get back to work.”

He may have work to do to explain his comments to Maska.

Asked about previous comments in which he said he wouldn’t run for the Senate, and if he could change his mind, Hogan said: “You know, I’ve said over and over again that number one, I just didn’t have a burning desire to be a senator.

“You know, I love being governor. I’ve been running businesses my whole life. I’m more of an executive. I got to make decisions every day that [affected] people’s lives and you have a lot of ability to make a difference.

“The Senate, not to say it’s not an important job, but you’re one of 100 and you’re, you know, arguing all day and making speeches in committees but very little ever seems to get done. And so I think just on a personal human level, I think it’d be really frustrating to be sitting in the Senate, I’m not sure it would motivate me, it’s not where my skill set lies, I don’t think.”

Hogan’s decision to run for Senate came the same week Republicans in the chamber tanked their own border and immigration reform bill at the command of Trump.

Hogan is a rare Republican critic of the former president. In his interview with Maska, he referred to widely reported attempts by the Senate GOP to recruit him as a prized moderate in a party which has seen a succession of extremists defeated in key states.

“I get why they’re coming after me,” Hogan said. “We haven’t elected a Republican senator [in Maryland] since 1986 [when Charles Mathias retired] and in the last seat that opened up, two years ago [the Democrat] Chris Van Hollen, a Washington Post poll said I would have beaten him by 12 points.

“You know … I left [the governor’s mansion] with the highest approval rating of any politician in state history and so I probably could win the seat. But … the problem was I would win and I would have to go be a senator.”

The former governor did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Maryland Republican party said it could not speak for Hogan.